Archived: Review: One Day (2011) - archived

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On St. Swithins Day, July 15th, we meet Emma (Ann Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess), two students who spend their graduation from University together. We then follow their friendship for the following twenty or so years, meeting them on the same date every year. Based on the novel by David Nicholls and converted to film by the author, the movie is a rather accurate adaptation directed by Lone Scherfig.

Of course I’m assuming it’s a rather accurate adaptation, having not read the book myself I rely on my fellow journalists to fill in the blanks for me, but having gone into this movie then blind, I was able to give an opinion based solely on the motion picture.

Trailing the relationship of Emma and Dex year on year, both starting with such bright ambitions but both ultimately being left disappointed with the paths they take. Emma moves to London to change the world but all that changes is the landscape behind her as time seems to forget she is there. She becomes trapped working in a restaurant but with warm words from her ever affectionate Dex, moves into teaching and eventually becomes an author for teenage fiction. Dex in complete contrast ends up hosting late night television, having copious amounts of sex with anything that moves and falls into the world of drugs as he crashes like his career.

Everything happens in such short moments seen each year. The idea is interesting, however it just doesn’t seem to pan out correctly. Despite following the characters for nigh on twenty years, I didn’t feel that I knew them nor did I really care about their relationship. Having said that that climax of the opening scene that we return to did have me in tears, but I wasn’t weeping over the characters, more juxtaposing it with my own life and substituting my loves for those on screen.

Overall it was fairly watchable, for a guy going into a cinema screen where you’re surrounded by middle-aged ladies I guess I wasn’t the target audience. I could be picky and question the voice coaching of Anne Hathaway who sounded quintessentially British what-what at some points before dropping in the Yorkshire accent and turning “love” into “luv”. But I’m not like that…despite it being irritating.

The supporting cast do their bit but again the agitation of only seeing one day each year doesn’t bring around the resonance required when tragedy strikes and both main and supporting cast are affected. In fact for some time you may be wondering what happened to these background characters when they just vanish for extended periods of time. Having said this, Rafe Spall (son of Timothy) does a fine job.

One Day is your standard Rom-Com romp and follows the same conventions in a story arc sense as all the others. What makes it different is the take on following these characters throughout one day each year, the problem being it doesn’t leave us satisfied we’ve seen enough.

Archived: Review: One Day (2011) - archived
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